Surveillance techniques and forensic science keep on improving. This makes it more difficult to be a criminal. However, back in 2009 when bitcoin was launched many criminals celebrated this development. The use of the untraceable internet currency made it possible to enjoy the anonymity of cash without risks.
Bitcoin and the Dark web
Beforehand, a person had to have the necessary contacts to buy illegal substances. However, the introduction of the dark web and bitcoin brought along many changes. It enabled people to fairly easily have access to different illegal substances. In addition to this, with bitcoin criminals were able to pay without being easily traced.
It is very common that the drug deals that are made on the dark web are later on sent to the receiver with the use of regular mail. However, due to the inability to trace the currency, it makes it hard to prove that the receiver is involved. It is not that every user of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin is involved in illegal activities. However, it does make illegal dealings easier for criminals. This new dark web deals and bitcoin have been part of the modern image of illegal activity. However, the Danish police force was not willing to accept this. They decided to take action in order to make it more difficult for criminals to make use of this cryptocurrency.
The Danish police force is making use of a tracing method that enables them to trace drug traffickers by tracing all of their bitcoin transactions. This removes the anonymity factor that has been enjoyed for years. This makes it more difficult to hide the illegal transactions.
Denmark is a Pioneer
Denmark is currently the only country that is making use of this technology. They are therefore leading the way in this type of cyber crime. They have set up a new specialized IT-system, that was developed by Danish law enforcement agencies. It compares information of two different types of bitcoin transactions.
First, the transactions are analyzed by exploiting the possibilities of blockchain technology. This is the technology which Bitcoin is based on. Afterward, they compare the information with listings of bitcoin buyers and bitcoin sellers. This then brings them to the following step which is to identify the people that are involved in particular dealings.
The head of Denmark’s National Cyber Crime Center (NC3) Kim Aarenstrup, didn’t want to go into the specifics of how much this new method is working. However, it can be considered substantial since the FBI and Europol are already making use of the system.
This new Danish system has already proven its success. The courts in the city of Herning have found the defendant in a narcotics case guilty and sentenced him to eight years in prison. This was all thanks to their ability to trace his bitcoin transactions. There is already the second case in Denmark where the bitcoin tracing evidence plays a big role in the trial.
A Different World for Criminals
In the past, criminals could enjoy the full anonymity offered by the use of the Bitcoin currency. However, now with the introduction of this technology, it is believed that all of this will change. With the implementation of this new Danish technology, it will make it the Bitcoin currency less attractive to criminals. This, at the same time, will improve the possibility of the different law enforcement agencies around the world to improve their cyber safety and pursue criminals for their crimes committed on the dark web.
The two verdicts in Denmark can be seen as a clear indicator to criminals that cyberspace is changing. It shows that law enforcement institutions are finding better tools to fight against their long committed crimes. Perhaps this will be seen as the long-awaited sign for criminals to pursue other activities.
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